Monday, January 9, 2017

Spotted Buckwheat Tahini Cookies


Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well. I'm glad to be able to bring you all a new recipe! It has been way too long since I've posted but I am learning to be okay with that. I do what I can when inspiration strikes.

Anyhoo, today I am posting about some tahini cookies that are so delicious! They remind me of peanut butter cookies in texture but with a distinctive sesame bitterness which I love. If you are a lover of tahini then you will love these. They are not as sweet as regular cookies but have to me are sweet enough to be considered dessert. So good!

Oh, and if you don't have tahini and want to try with any other nut or seed butter you have on hand, feel free to do so! This is what I love about creating recipes, and I will say this time and time again: you are in control and can create whatever flavor you desire. Same thing with the buckwheat flour; use what you have on hand as long as you're replacing it using weight measurements. Now, if you decide to use a starch or refined flour, then the result will be different, but that is okay! Experiment and see what you like. :) So go and get creative and enjoy!!

Get in mah' belly!! :)


Spotted Buckwheat Tahini Cookies 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 9 - 10 minutes
Servings: Makes about 12 cookies (This is an approximation. I ate them all before I got a chance to count. Oops!)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon flax meal
scant 3 tablespoons water
90 grams tahini
75 grams coconut sugar
15 grams maple syrup (1 tablespoon)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten free if possible)
75 grams buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon psyllium
1/8 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Black sesame seeds for topping (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° (176°C).
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flax meal with the water until there are no more lumps. Set aside to gel for about 5 minutes.
When the flax is gelled, add the tahini, coconut sugar, maple and vanilla extract and whisk to completely combine. 
Add the buckwheat flour, psyllium, salt, and baking soda and mix to combine with a spatula. 
Drop the dough in 1 tablespoon amounts on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart and lightly flatten. Top with optional black sesame seeds. 
Bake for about 9 - 10 minutes and let cool on baking sheet. Enjoy! :) 

I love that these little tasty morsels are oil free and still have a cookie texture. Granted they are still high in fat, they are at least high in fiber! ;) Hehe... 

Here is the full nutritional information from CRON-O-Meter if you'd like to check it out. ;)

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this! I so hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know if you have any questions or a request for anything! Lots of love to you all and have an amazing oobertastic New Year!!! <3<3<3

Love,
Vanessa <3

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gluten Free Rye Bread!

Nom, nom, nom... :P
Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well. I think I have decided to blog whenever I feel like it. I'm doing this new thing where I am doing the things that I love and that truly make me happy in that moment. Granted, blogging does make me happy; but not all the time. I feel I become too obsessed on making sure everything is one hundred percent correct and it becomes like work to me. Although, I do love the creative process that goes along with it and the fact that I can share a new and original recipe with you all! That's the funnest part for me. Thank you, whoever you are, for taking the time to read my blog and to look at the recipes. It really means a lot to me. It takes a lot of effort and time to come up with a new recipe, take pictures, edit the pictures, write the post and edit again; and to me it feels so awesome for people to see my work after putting my heart into it. I know there aren't many of you out there, but if I can reach a few people and open their eyes to healthy and yummy vegan food, I feel I have done my job. :) Reach out and say hi if you have time. I would love to get to know you all. :)

Anyhoo, this recipe was inspired by my darling love. He got all excited and said to me, "Why don't you come up with a gluten free rye recipe?! I love those..." Hehehe... I love it when he gets excited about me creating a recipe. He's too adorable. <3 So, I went to it and this is what I came up with: it's nutritious, chewy and holds together really well, especially for not having any xanthan gum. The secret ingredient is psyllium, which I have been using a lot in my recipes lately. Works like a freakin' charm! Plus it adds a little fiber. Hehehe...

This bread is super easy, but may take some time. However, the active time is very minimal and most of the time you're just waiting for the bread to rise. :P I only did the recipe in grams because I wanted to get the recipe posted pretty quickly. But I will edit the post as soon as possible with the cup measurements too. Also, this makes a small loaf (since I didn't want to waste lots of ingredients experimenting) but feel free to double the recipe and make it a full loaf of goodness. :)

Well, I hope you enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think!


Gluten Free "Rye" Bread

Active time: ~20 minutes
Waiting time: ~3 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 1 small loaf

Ingredients:
2.5 teaspoons caraway seeds
2,5 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons minced dried onion
75 grams teff flour
75 grams brown rice flour
75 grams tapioca flour (starch)
2 teaspoons psyllium husk
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt or mineral salt
170 grams warm water (~115 F)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or avocado oil)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Pumpkin seeds (optional for topping the loaf)
Sesame seeds (optional for topping the loaf)

Instructions:
In a medium sized frying pan on low to medium heat, toast the caraway and onion seeds until they start to pop. Immediately bring them off the burner and grind down in a high speed blender or spice mill until medium ground. It doesn't have to be a fine powder.
Add the ground down seeds to a large bowl along with the dried onion, teff flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, psyllium husk, yeast, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Now add the water, oil and maple syrup and whisk to make a batter that looks like thick pancake batter. Put the dough into another oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area for about 1.5 hours. 
After it has risen about half its height (it won't rise too much), place into a small (individual sized loaf pan) parchment lined loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and set in a warm place to rise again for about 1 hour. 
Towards the end of the second rising time, preheat an oven to 350 F. Lightly wet the top of the loaf enough to allow the sesame and pumpkin seeds to adhere to it. Bake for about 45 minutes or until when the center of the loaf is poked with a toothpick, it comes out clean. But be careful not to over bake because it can become dry. 
Take out the loaf from the oven when done and let the bread cool for fifteen minutes in the pan. Then transfer the loaf to a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!!! :)

Variations:
  • Feel free to swap different flours for the ones I have above, but be sure to swap using weight measurements and not volume measurements. 
    • Also, if you'd like to swap flours, I would swap whole grain flours with whole grain flours (like sorghum flour for the brown rice flour or for the teff flour) and swap starches with starches (like tapioca starch with potato starch). But the recipe may come out different since each flour and starch has their own properties. However, I don't want to discourage you from experimenting! Feel free to change up the recipe and make it your own to suit you! Get creative! That's what's most fun about being in the kitchen. :)
Well, I hope you enjoy the recipe! Let me know if you've tried it; I would love to hear your variations and results. Lots of love! <3<3<3

Love,
Vanessa <3

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Almond Cookies for #smartcookieswap


Nom, nom, nom...

Hi all! I hope you are all doing well! I know I'm having such a great day and am excited to have an awesome Thanksliving with friends! What are you doing or eating for Thanksliving? I hope you have a great time enjoying good food, being grateful for all that you have, and spending time with the people you love. The holiday season can really bring a new perspective to things. Try not to get in the chaos of the commercial holiday season and spending, because I think that isn't what it's all about. That brings more stress than anything. At least to me it does!

That's why I find it's so important to spend time with the people you love. My love and I have been making it a point at least once a week to spend a day together doing something. It can be as simple as going for a hike together or discovering a new part of the island. Or just eating a meal together. It really brings us back to center and makes us realize why we love to be around each other and how grateful we are to have one another in our lives. This past Monday my love and I went hiking and discovered so many beautiful parts of the island as well as the beautiful aspects of one another. It was amazing!

Such beauty!

Love that tiny looking waterfall! And my love of course. :)
Well, anyhoo, let's dig into some cookies! @unconventionalbaker and @caitlinfoulds are hosting a #smartcookieswap, in which they share healthy gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free recipes from Instagrammers all over the world. It has been so much fun to see what all the other people are making and to be able to contribute to this feels amazing. It's so much fun and to be honest, who doesn't love a great cookie? And when it's healthy, it feels even better to eat. :) The two lovely hosts are super talented and show you how they make healthy recipes yummy and oh so satisfying from their Instagram page. You should check them out and get involved in the #smartcookieswap too! All you have to do is tag them in your photo, start following them, make a simple refined sugar free, vegan, and gluten free recipe that has less than 10 ingredients, and share it over Instagram for the world to see! You also must put the hashtag #smartcookieswap and their Instagram names in the post so they can see your recipe. It's super fun!

I already posted one recipe for the challenge to my Instagram page but there's always room for more cookie recipes! Lol! This one is an almond cookie recipe that is a soft, pillowy and chewy cookie. Soft cookie lovers, this one is for you! And its super simple and is very addicting, I was inspired by the Italian rainbow cookies that I used to love as a kid. But these are without the apricot jam filling and the chocolate on top. They are an awesome base for those cookies though and I intend on using this recipe to fully make those Italian delights healthy!

I hope you all enjoy the recipe and your holiday! And stay tuned for more recipes for the holiday season! I hope you all participate in the #smartcookieswap too! Blessings to you all!


Almond Cookies

Prep Time: 10 - 15 minutes
Bake Time: 13 - 14 minutes
Yield: ~12, 1 tablespoon sized cookies

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
3 tablespoons water
75 grams (1/2 cup) sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon psyllium
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
85 grams (1/2 cup) raw almonds (plus 12 extra almonds to top the cookies)
100 grams (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) coconut sugar
25 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
In a small bowl, whisk the flax meal and water. Set aside. 
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the sorghum flour, salt, psyllium, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a high speed blender or food processor, grind down the almonds and the coconut sugar until very fine and almost paste-like but not buttery-like. Add this to a large bowl along with the coconut oil and almond extract and mix. Its okay if its a little clumpy. Add the flax mixture and mix to combine.
Add the flour mixture to this and mix rigorously until most of the clumps are gone and you have a smooth dough. 
Drop the cookies onto a parchment lined sheet about 1 inch apart form each other using a tablespoon measurement. Place a whole almond in the center of the cookie and press down so that the almond is indented in the cookie. 
Bake for about 13 - 14 minutes, depending if you like your cookies slightly gooier in the center or more fluffy. 
Let cool on baking sheet for five minutes and then let fully cool on a baking rack (or just enjoy straight out of the oven. I won't tell anyone ;) Hehehehe...). Enjoy! 

Substitutes:
  • Feel free to use any other whole grain flour that you prefer, like brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, etc., for the sorghum. Just replace it by the weight amount and not the volume amount. 
  • Try this with other nuts/seeds and different extracts to get different flavors! Have fun with it! :)
Here is the nutritional information for the cookies from CRON-O-Meter. They aren't the healthiest but they are definitely a better alternative to those sugary and artificially flavored creations that the stores sell. And you'll feel better after eating them! :P Hehe...


Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this and check out my blog. It is so appreciated. I hope you all have an amazing day today and have fun over the holiday season! Sending lots of love! 

Love,
Vanessa <3